Knowing what your competition is doing, or not doing, is an integral part of formulating your own marketing plan. If the competitor research is done well, you have the opportunity to learn from what they are doing to make your marketing even better.
Up until recently, you could really only guess at what your competition was doing in the Facebook Advertising space. The main reason for this was, if you didn’t fit into their demographic targeting, then you wouldn’t see their ads. Of course, you could always see what they are doing on their organic page, but often this does not show the whole picture, as organic page content and advertising campaigns have different goals, usually a case of engagement and reach versus traffic and conversions.
However, due to Facebook’s recent attempt to make its platform more transparent with their users, they now allow anyone to see what Ads a company is running on Facebook. You don’t even need to follow the page to see what Ads they are currently running.
How to spy on your competitor’s Facebook Ad campaigns
Here are the steps to see if your competitors are running and to see what ads they are using.
Step 1: Go to their Facebook page.
Step 2: In the left-hand menu for the page (where it says Home, About, Posts etc.), select the option Info & Ads.
Step 3: Once the page loads you will see all the Ads that page is currently running.
It really is that simple.
What you can’t see
This little tip will allow you to see all of the Ad creative that a competitor is using to win over customers. However, it doesn’t provide you with the full picture of their advertising campaign, as you can’t see absolutely everything that is going on.
For example, even though we can see the creative, we cannot see who the ads are targeted at. Yes, we can make some calculated guesses, but we can’t be 100% sure. They could be part of any different type of Facebook targeting audience, include:
- A saved targeted audience
- A website retargeted audience
- An email list audience
Even though you still can’t get the whole picture of what your competitors are doing, the ability to see what ads they are running is still a helpful insight. By learning from the creative they are using, you can start experimenting with your own target audiences to see which ones perform best for different creative.
The most important thing to note is that just because your competitors are doing a certain thing, it doesn’t mean you need to follow them exactly. Spend time analysing their ads and try to determine if they are a success. Try to figure out what their goals are for each ad and then assess where there might be weaknesses in their campaign. These are things that you should focus improving on in your campaign so that you end up delivering something better than your competitors, not just the same but with a different logo on it.